By Andrew Robinson – Reporter, Louisville Business First
Mar 22, 2013, 6:00am EDT
Shelbyville Road Plaza has landed a national retailer to fill a large space that has been empty since 2009.
Seattle-based Nordstrom Inc. plans to open a 33,000-square-foot Nordstrom Rack store in October at Shelbyville Road Plaza, owned by Hagan Properties Inc. The location previously housed a Circuit City store.
Tommy Edwards, leasing agent for Hagan Properties, declined to disclose terms of the lease or the cost of renovation work, but he said the renovations would cost “a significant amount for both sides.”
Edwards said he was aware of Nordstrom’s interest in the site for several years. The location will be one of two dozen the company plans to open this year nationwide.
“They have a timeline you have to work under,” Edwards said. “But we’re very excited. They’re a first-class company.”
Workers have been in the building since last week to prepare it for renovations, which will include a new facade.
Stores offer wide selection
Nordstrom Rack is described by the company as “the off-price retail division of Nordstrom Inc.”
It carries merchandise from Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom.com at 50 percent to 60 percent off original Nordstrom prices.
It also carries apparel, accessories and shoes that are purchased for Nordstrom Rack stores from many brands carried in Nordstrom stores, including Hugo Boss, Kate Spade and Trina Turk.
Nordstrom officials confirmed the plans for the location but declined further comment.
In a statement, Geevy Thomas, president of Nordstrom Rack, said, “We’ve been looking for ways to better serve our customers living in Kentucky who have been making the drive to visit our Rack stores in Cincinnati and Indianapolis.”
Nordstrom operates 240 stores in 31 states, including 117 full-line stores and 121 Nordstrom Rack locations. It also operates two Jeffrey boutique locations, a Treasure & Bond store and a clearance store.
Nordstrom Rack rapidly growing
Blake Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom, said during the company’s earnings conference call last month that the company expects to nearly double the number of Rack stores to more than 230 during the next four years.
In 2012, Rack’s total sales were up 20 percent, with same-store sales up 7.4 percent.
Nordstrom Rack stores averaged $550 in sales per square foot last year, Blake Nordstrom said.
Michael G. Koppel, CFO for Nordstrom, said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2013 Consumer & Retail Conference on March 13 that Nordstrom Rack typically draws a younger customer than the company’s Nordstrom stores.
Nordstrom launched its Rack concept about 20 years ago, and Koppel said it took company officials several years to understand how to make the brand a good growth opportunity for the company.
“The ability for us to get great real estate and put great product in that real estate just seems to get better as we scale that business up,” Koppel said.
Borders space remains vacant
Nordstrom Rack will be the second clothing retailer to open at Shelbyville Road Plaza this year.
Ross Dress For Less opened earlier this month in a 28,000-square-foot space that had housed a Wild Oats store.
But a 26,000-square-foot space that previously housed a Borders bookstore remains vacant in the St. Matthews shopping center.
Edwards said Hagan officials still are determining whether the space should be leased as one space or be broken up for multiple tenants.
Edwards has spoken with several potential tenants since Borders closed in October 2011.
The shopping center’s newest tenant might help attract more interest, Edwards said.
“There might be some tenants who would like to piggyback off Nordstrom Rack being here.”